Developer for Arista Film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I picked up a box of the 400 speed Arista film yesterday. From prior threads it is (probably) repackaged Ilford HP5+. (Which the sales clerk at Freestyle did not deny, though the development times on the box are different from what I've seen for HP5+) I would appreciate recommendations from people using it on developers (I have on hand HC110, Rodinal and D-76, but will try something else) and starting times for a film speed test. Thanks for your help, and have a safe New Year.

-- Kevin Crisp (, December 28, 2001


If you have those developers on hand and have had success using them in the past, why do you want to change? Pick one of them & use it. Until you get used to a developer/film combination and have worked with it a bit it really doesn't matter much what you use. If you are shooting sheet film, what format? What gear do you use for developing? Tanks, deep tanks, spiral reels, JOBO or something else? Times will vary with water quality, developer dilution and how you handle the film during processing. My method is simple. Put the film in and let it go until it 'feels right', then turn on the green safelight & see where I am by viewing the image. This tells me about how much more time I need & then I look a time or two more & pull it when it looks right.

-- Dan Smith (, December 28, 2001.

Development would be in trays, sheet film 5X7. I could just pick one but I was hoping for advice which would make my starting point more than random. (I have, for example, tried HC110 with TMAX 100 and was never happy with it. D-76 1:1 works very well. I'd rather not just pick a combination and start off on the wrong foot.) I am aware that my water, dilution, and temperative may have an effect on development time.

-- Kevin Crisp (, December 28, 2001.

I've been developing HP5+ in HC-110 and have been happy with it. I do tank development with my 4x5, so my processing times won't help you. But, all I did was follow what the bottle of HC-110 says for Dilution B plus some minor mods from Jobo for tank development and it's been working for me. So, I would start with what the bottle says.

-- Jennifer Waak (, December 28, 2001.

With 5x7 you might find Rodinal at 1:50, 1:75 or 1:100 is a good match. It is what I have settled on and I really like how the negs look. I tried it head to head with Xtol (3 dilutions), ID11 (3 dilutions) and something else I don't remember. I settled on the Rodinal and it works well. Xtol had a bit more low shadow density in the neg but as a practical matter it made no difference in the prints, contacts & enlargements to 20x24. So pick one & work with it a bit. The only downside I see with HP5+ (Arista 400) is the higher base fog level when compared to Arista 125 (FP4+.. a beautiful film) Either way, work with one developer for a number of months before trying something else. Get used to what it will do. No matter what you use someone will tell you what a lousy combination it is, so look at your prints & see if it works for you. Some excellent photographers use combinations I wouldn't use at all yet for them it sure works well. It is all in what you get used to, comfortable with and how it works for you in your darkroom.

-- Dan Smith (, December 28, 2001.


I have used Arista 400 in roll film with XTol 1:3 and have obtained beautiful results. I always treat Arista 400 as HP5+ with excellent results. T-Max and D-76/ID11 also give good results.

-- Dave Karp (, December 28, 2001.

I develop HP5+ (actual HP5+) as well as Arista in D 76 1-1 in tanks (220 film), BTZS tubes (4x5), and trays (8x10). I've been using this combination of film and developer for about 6 years and have been pleased with the results. I've also used both films in 8x10 with PMK pyro in trays. After extensive and very time consuming testing that involved making identical negatives under varying circumstances and developing one set in D 76 1-1 and the other in PMK, I determined that there was no visible difference at all in prints made from negatives developed in PMK and negatives developed in D 76 1-1 so I won't be using PMK any more once I've exhausted the supply of PMK I unfortunately have on hand.

-- Brian Ellis (, December 28, 2001.

FreeStyle has a film development chart on their site. Here's the link:

-- Jim (, December 28, 2001.

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